Re: dumb barbarians?

Date: Sat 10 Feb 1996 - 16:49:06 EET

In Glorantha Digest V2 #377, Tim Eccles writes:
>Take Strangers in Prax, for example. ...The Sartarite pagans are
>just dumb. Now, it is okay for Arlaten to think this way, but SiP
>itself seems IMHO to adopt this view. Look at the way Sartarites are
>portrayed as dumb for not wanting to be pumped full of sorcery
>spells. I would not let some doctor, dentist or employer have free
>reign to do whatever they felt like to me. Seems intelligent, not
>dumb to me.

As a playtester of Arlaten the Magus, I have to disagree. Ignorant and
bigoted is how the scenario describes the Sartarite POV. (They're also dirty
and violent, but that's beside the point.) Dumb, it's not. From their POV,
they're wise to forgo any short-term advantage which might come from
accepting sorcery spells, because the long-term effect will be to destroy
their souls. This, it seems to me, both adds color to the setting and
frustrates minimaxing players, two admirable goals.

While I'm on the subject of frustrating minimaxers, I'd like to mention an
assumption Mike Dawson and I make in our games. If you cast a spell at a
person using his or her own MP's, you automatically succeed. (This is an

extreme example of the benefit of having some part of the victim when you
cast the spell at him or her.) Thus, hardly anyone will share storage
crystals or MP matrixes. Maybe you'll share one with your father or mother,
but who else can you trust that much? Not your brother or sister, in many

cases. The analogy we came up with was this: asking to borrow someone's MP
storage device is like asking "Can I borrow a pint of blood? I'll give it
right back."

- --Martin Crim


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